The rapid growth of online delivery and the switch to discounters continues to dominate the news headlines. But they are still not where the majority of us do our main food shop. Love them or hate them, it is the large supermarket that rules the roost, accounting for the majority of all UK grocery sales.

These vast cathedrals of food and drink, some in excess of 80,000 ft2, can be open 24 hours and stock up to 50,000 different products. Think about that for a moment.

An average main shop for a family takes about an hour and consists of around 100 items, meaning shoppers are buying just 1 out of every 500 products on display.  No wonder many shoppers are on autopilot and cite supermarket shopping as a stressful, weekly chore to be completed as quickly as possible.

With so much background noise, how can you get your brand or promotion noticed? How can you launch or build rate of sale for a new product listing? Shopper studies by industry trade body POPAI suggest we have just 0.9 seconds on average to convince shoppers to stop and look at a display. It is no easy task!

Here are five things I think you should be considering to create your next stand out shopper marketing campaign:

1)    Be one of the first brands they see

With so many products clamouring for attention in-store, one effective way to boost awareness is to be amongst the first brands shoppers see when they arrive. From car park posters to trolley bays and security shrouds, there are several impactful media opportunities available at supermarkets to make sure you grab their attention and make today’s shopping list.

(Of course the retail media teams know that and it is priced accordingly!)

2)    Bring your brand to life

Successful brands meet emotional as well as functional needs. They may have warmth and personality. Performance. Provenance. Humour. Yet a 0.9 second glance at a busy shelf can mean these traits are impossible to understand. We move on.

With larger supermarkets there is often the space to create a branded experience at the front of store. A chance to see, touch, taste or smell. Use skilled brand ambassadors who can engage shoppers and make it personally relevant. Activate well and it is one of the very best ways to stand-out.

3)    Differentiate your packaging

Large supermarkets offer vast choice. When I last checked, Tesco had over 400 different biscuit products available. A mind-boggling array of own label and brands. So it is perhaps surprising that many brands choose to slavishly follow the category norms. The same pack formats and substrates. Standard sizes and shapes. Same flavour. Identical nutritional claims on pack. No wonder we go back on autopilot.

If you want to be quickly noticed on shelf by busy shoppers break a few rules. If everyone else is in a red box, be in a pot. Or pouch. Make it silver. Even better make it re-sealable. And don’t forget to brand your shelf ready outer to maximise impact.

4)    Secure secondary display

Easier said than done, but if you want to stand-out from the rest get your brand off the shelf. If you can negotiate additional branded FSDU’s or pallet displays as part of your next campaign you will disrupt shoppers navigating the aisle and give yourself the very best chance of converting the sale. Many times have I seen a major brand TV advertise and bring in extra category traffic, only to lose the shopper sales to a smaller rival who was better displayed at point of purchase.

Get extra promotional displays out of category, and you can also reach more shoppers on different missions. Grab and go lunchtime snacking for instance.

5)    Add value to convert the sale

With fewer price promotions in-store and the rise of EDLP, it can mean that many competing brands end up with exactly the same selling price on shelf. Cue more shopper confusion. One option is to add value to your brand through on, or off pack promotion. Offer shoppers a free gift with purchase. The chance to instant win a prize. Or de-risk trial of a new brand with a money back guarantee. The options to stand-out and trigger purchase are limited only by imagination (and budget!)

If you have read this far, I hope you have found this blog to standing out in-store useful. It is clearly not an exhaustive list and I hope to share more of my shopper marketing secrets in a forthcoming article. I’d be really interested to hear your experiences or for you to share what you think works best in-store.